Shelby and John’s wedding can be beautifully summed up by their photographer, Alicia White who said, “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about getting married in the middle of the rain.” Today, we are all about the romance of weathering storms–both figuratively and literally. We absolutely adore this gorgeous couple and the incredible nature inspired wedding that featured, among other things, vows exchanged in the pouring rain.
What made the wedding special and unique?
What made that day unique was the spontaneity of it all. You can spend months planning a wedding but when it looks like rain on your big day and you’re determined to get married outside; you have to make some very last minute adjustments. We both had to make decisions about the ceremony but we were dead set on not seeing or talking to each other before the ceremony. We trusted in our hearts that we knew what the other person would want. At one point my wife and I were ten feet apart, unknowingly making the same last minute decisions like we planned them for years. What made the wedding special was how much we love God, and how much we knew that He would guide us then and how much we know he will guide us forever.
Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it?
The gown is Morilee by Madeline Gardner and the beaded sash is from Bhldn. I found it at New York Bride and Groom in Charlotte, NC. They were great about making sure I only tried on dresses I would be able to get in my short, three month time-frame. It was the only dress that fit perfectly from the moment I put it on. As soon as I turned around in the mirror I knew this was the dress. It was a perfect combination of everything I was looking for and I felt completely like myself in it.
What were some touches added to make it personal?
Shelby is a graphic designer so she wanted to design all of the printed materials for the wedding. In fact, the font for the invitations was the first purchase she made after the engagement. Shelby’s friend created a series of watercolor illustrations, which were then used on the invitations, rsvp cards, and advice cards at the reception. Another personal touch Shelby and John made was to cut out any traditional reception rituals that weren’t significant to them. They knew the night would fly by and this gave them more time to spend with their friends and family.
What was the most memorable part of the day?
Shelby: As everyone was lining up to walk down the aisle I was waiting inside the Inn so that John wouldn’t see me. Someone pointed out that if I stood on my tiptoes I might be able to see John through the window. As soon as I caught a glimpse of him I lost it. It was a perfect moment being able to see how happy John was and soak in the fact that he was about to become my husband. It was a sense of overwhelming joy.
John: I know every groom probably says the moment he sees her for the first time is the most memorable moment. They probably say this because it is such an impacting moment for every groom. Seeing Shelby from such a far distance next to her father was the most amazing, life changing moment. The most memorable moment was when Alicia gave us a few minutes to ourselves after shooting photos on a deserted peninsula to just soak it all in. I will always remember those minutes that we spent together. We just stared, smiled, hugged, laughed and danced to nothing but the beautiful silence of nature.
Tell us how you met and became engaged.
My good friend knew both of John’s roommates from having classes with them. After hearing so much about each other we were intrigued to finally meet. When we did, we talked about everything from black and white movies to cooking. After that night the four of us started a weekly tradition of taking turns making dinner, and dubbed it “family dinner night”. It wasn’t long until John and I were spending time together just the two of us. One night he asked if I wanted to start running with him, of course I said yes but if you know me then you know running is NOT my thing. Thankfully our runs quickly turned into walks. Walking and getting lost in conversation around the beautiful streets of Richmond are some of our favorite dating memories.
John surprised me on Valentines Day by driving the 8 hours to my house and showing up with flowers at ten o’clock at night. It was the best surprise! He had considered proposing that night but when he saw how shocked I was he decided it might be too much. Early the next morning he decided he couldn’t wait any longer. He woke me up and proposed just the two of us. It was a perfect, private moment that the two of us will always get to share together.